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India, China announce crucial Modi-Xi summit, aim to arrest slide in ties

India and China on Wednesday simultaneously announced President Xi Jinping’s visit to India on Friday for the second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, nearly 18 months after their first such meet in Wuhan.

Xi will be in India between October 11 and 12, the Chinese foreign ministry announced in a brief statement on Wednesday morning.

“At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi of the Republic of India and President Bhandari of Nepal, President Xi Jinping will attend the second informal meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders in India and pay a state visit to Nepal from October 11 to 13,” foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying.

“The forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

The official announcements from both sides were made barely two days ahead of the summit.

The two leaders have met a few times since their meeting in Wuhan on April 27 and 28 in 2018.

The first summit was held after the 73-day stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam in 2017.

The “informal” backdrop of the upcoming summit, however, is expected to provide the two leaders opportunity to discuss the broad range of issues and the status of bilateral ties, which seems to have cooled after New Delhi’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir in August.

China had reacted strongly to India’s decision on Kashmir. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, in his speech at the UN general assembly, said that no unilateral action should be taken to change the status quo in Kashmir.

India said the developments in Kashmir were “purely an internal matter” and that it expected other countries to “desist from efforts to change the status quo through the illegal so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”.

The Chinese envoy to Pakistan recently said China will stand by Pakistan for regional peace and stability. “We are also working for Kashmiris to help them get their fundamental rights and justice. There should be a justified solution to the issue of Kashmir,” Yao Jing was quoted as saying by the Pakistani media.

First Published:
Oct 09, 2019 13:15 IST

Source: HindustanTimes